The Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholarhips 2017

Deadline 18 April 2017.

The central purpose of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa (whilst also seeking to foster better reconciliation and entrepreneurship) through its various programmes and, to this end, aims to be the leading protagonist in Africa for such endeavours.The Mandela Rhodes programmes will develop leadership and vocational capacity across African society, to help the continent achieve success and prosperity and full equal participation in the global world. They will constitute ‘History At Work’, extracting from past legacies to help Africa succeed in the 21st century. The Scholarships Programme will be the main focus for the foreseeable future.

Overview of the Scholarship

The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme is a combination of financial support for postgraduate studies and a high quality leadership development programme, with the intention of building exceptional leadership capacity in Africa.

A. Financial scope of the scholarship

The Scholarship covers the cost of a Scholar as follows:

  • Tuition and registration fees as set by the institution;
  • A study materials allowance as set by the MRF;
  • Accommodation and meal allowances as set by the MRF;
  • A medical aid allowance as set by the MRF;
  • Economy-class travel allowance for international Scholars only from the Scholar’s home to their institution at the beginning and back home at the end of their degree programme;
  • Personal allowance.

B. Leadership development programme

The leadership development programme is made up of the following three components.

  1. Three residential workshops;
  2. Three regional group pods;
  3. Mentoring.

Residential workshops

The heart of the leadership development programme is delivered primarily through a series of residential workshops. These highlight and engage critically with the  four principles of the Foundation, namely: Leadership, Reconciliation, Entrepreneurship and Education. The workshops create a unique opportunity to build the individual capacities of Scholars, provide the space to engage with high-profile leaders and expert thinkers, build a sense of community within the cohort and connect incoming Scholars to the broader Mandela Rhodes Community.

The Foundation holds three workshops of approximately five days each during the year. Attendance to the workshops is compulsory for all Scholars. Since workshop dates will be given in advance, Mandela Rhodes Scholars must make the necessary arrangements where there are clashes with their academic calendars to ensure full participation in the workshops.

Regional Group Pods

Group Pods are regional gatherings which seek to:

  • Build stronger local support networks;
  • Continue particular conversations and areas of reflection and engagement to supplement learning from the residential workshops;
  • Enrich the residential experience once Scholars return home.


The third component of the programme is a voluntary Mentoring Programme. The purpose of this component is to:

  • Give Scholars in residence space for one-on-one reflection, advice and growth;
  • Allow alumni Mandela Rhodes Scholars to give back to the Foundation through volunteering their time serving as mentors;
  • Build intergenerational networks;
  • Enrich and support the journey of Scholars in their year-in-residence beyond the group gatherings.

Selection Criteria

  • The Scholarship is open to citizens of all African countries
  • The Scholarship is for postgraduate study at South African universities or tertiary institutions
  • Full funding is for Honours (maximum one year) or Masters (up to a maximum of two years) or their equivalents (MBA’s excluded)
  • Any individual who will be between the ages of 19 and 30 years at the time of taking up the Scholarship may apply
  • Applicants must possess a first degree or its equivalent or must be in the process of completing one by 31 January 2018
  • Applicants should have a history of well above average academic results
  • Individuals that reflect in their character a commitment to the four principles of Education, Reconciliation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship
  • Applicants must be able to attend all compulsory elements of our leadership development programme. These activities can occur during the week or on weekends.
  • The Scholarship cannot be deferred once awarded. It must be taken up in the year which was applied for.

PLEASE NOTE: If you qualify for the Scholarship, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation does not apply to tertiary institutions on your behalf. Applicants must apply separately to their chosen tertiary institution for the degree they wish to undertake. The Scholarship award is conditional on the applicant being offered a place at the relevant institution

Terms and Conditions

1. General terms and conditions of the Scholarships programme

A Mandela Rhodes Scholarship enables a Scholar to study at a South African tertiary institution registered with the South African Council on Higher Education for an accredited postgraduate degree programme. The Scholarship is awarded for one or a maximum of two years, currently for an Honours or Masters degree.

Mandela Rhodes Scholars shall:

  1. Adhere to the principles and goals of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme.
  2. Attend leadership workshops as offered by the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme, on dates to be advised. Attendance is a condition of accepting the Scholarship, unless there are exceptional circumstances agreed to by the MRF.
  3. Be offered access to peer-mentoring (optional for the Scholar).
  4. According to the current policy of the MRF, be younger than 30 years of age at the time of taking up the Scholarship.

2. Conditions of tenure

  1. The continued holding of the Scholarship is dependent upon the maintenance of evidence-based, high standards of work and conduct which, in the opinion of the Trustees, justifies the holding of the Scholarship.
  2. Other scholarships may not be held in conjunction with a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. If a Scholar is in doubt about what constitutes another scholarship as opposed to awards or prizes, they should consult the MRF.
  3. Furthermore, the continued holding of the Scholarship is dependent on the Scholar upholding the values, principles and standards of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, as determined by the Trustees.
  4. Where Scholars are in breach of such standards, values and principles for any reason the MRF may cease payments to and participation in the programme by the Scholar.

3. Financial scope of the Scholarship

The Scholarship covers the cost of a Scholar as follows:

  1. Tuition and registration fees as set by the institution;
  2. A study materials allowance as set by the MRF;
  3. Accommodation and meal allowances as set by the MRF;
  4. A medical aid allowance as set by the MRF;
  5. Economy-class travel allowance for international Scholars only from the Scholar’s home to their institution at the beginning and back home at the end of their degree programme;
  6. Personal allowance.

Scholars must note the following:

  1. Allowances are paid twice a year, conditional on provision of proof of registration or acceptance, and on receipt of the stipulated progress report from the tertiary institution no later than two weeks after the start of the second semester.
  2. Tuition and registration fees are paid directly to the tertiary institution, while all other allowances are administered according to the MRF’s policies for that year.
  3. Any amount due to or owed by a student prior to their becoming a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, shall be the sole responsibility of the student, and the MRF will not become involved in any way.

Begin application process here

Visit webpage here


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